Shropshire Council

Postal and proxy voting

You can only vote if your name appears on the register of electors. If you're not sure whether you're registered, or if you need to register, please contact the Elections Team at the Shirehall on 0345 678 9015. Even when an election has been called, you still have time to register up to 12 working days before polling day.

Ways in which to vote

In person at your local polling station

Shortly before the election, we'll send a poll card to all eligible registered householders to confirm the date of the election, the location of their polling station and the hours that it'll be open. While you don't need your poll card to vote, it's a useful reminder to you, and it may help speed the voting process along if you present it to the staff on duty at your allocated polling station when you go and vote.

Simply turn up, collect a ballot paper and vote for your chosen candidate/party, before posting it in the ballot box provided. 

By post

If you have a postal vote in place, we'll send you a postal poll card to tell you when your ballot papers are likely to arrive, and what you should do in the unlikely event that you don't receive them.

Anyone can apply to have their ballot papers sent to them by post, instead of going to vote in person at a polling station. By completing and submitting a postal vote application form, you can choose to vote by post:

  • Until further notice
  • For an election held on a particular date
  • For all future elections until a certain specified date

Completed postal vote application forms should be sent to:

Electoral Services
Shirehall
Abbey Foregate
Shrewsbury
Shropshire
SY2 6ND

...and must be received for processing by the electoral registration officer no later than 11 working days before polling day.

Any permanent arrangement will remain in place until it's cancelled in writing by the elector, if the elector is no longer registered at that address, or if the elector fails to supply a new specimen signature after five years.

If you have a disability preventing you from signing your postal vote application form, the Elections Team can waive the requirement for you to provide a signature, as long as someone applies for a waiver on your behalf. Contact us for the appropriate application form if you'd like apply for a signature waiver.

I've applied for a postal vote - when should it arrive and what should I do if it doesn't?

We usually aim to send out ballot papers by first class post approximately two weeks before polling day. If your pack doesn't arrive, you can apply for a new one, but only between five working days before polling day and 5pm on the day of poll.

Can I vote in person instead of using my postal vote?

No – you must use the postal ballot paper which has been issued to you to cast your vote. If you want to cancel your postal vote, you can do so in writing up to 11 days before polling day.

By proxy

Proxies must be properly appointed in advance of the election, and must sign and complete the appropriate proxy application form – the form can’t be submitted without the elector’s signature.  There are various types of proxy appointment forms depending on the type of appointment that the elector wishes to make, namely:

One of the benefits of this arrangement is that if the elector suddenly finds that they're able to attend their polling station in person on polling day, they'll still have the opportunity of voting themselves in person, so long as their proxy has not already cast their vote, nor applied to vote on their behalf by post.

What if the proxy can't get to the elector’s polling station?

Proxies can themselves apply to vote by post on behalf of an elector, if for example they live away from the area where the elector is allocated to vote, or if they're postal voters themselves. If they wish to vote by post, they must complete and submit their own postal proxy application.

What are the timescales for proxy appointments?

  • The deadline for completed proxy applications is 5pm, no later than six working days before polling day
  • If the person being appointed as the proxy wants to vote by post, they must first be appointed by the elector, and then submit a postal proxy application themselves by 5pm, no later than 11 working days before polling day
  • If an elector has a medical emergency which occurs after the normal proxy deadline, they may apply for an emergency proxy appointment up to 5pm on polling day. Support will be required from a medical source before such an application can be granted
  • If an elector is called away on business after the normal proxy deadline, they may apply for an emergency proxy appointment on work grounds up to 5pm on polling day. Support will be required from their employer before such an application can be granted

Additional information can also be found on the Your Vote Matters website.

Annual absent vote signature refresh

Annually in January, Shropshire Council is legally required to write to all absent voters (either postal or proxy) whose signature on their last absent vote application is more than 5 years old. These electors are being asked to provide a fresh signature, to ensure that we have the most accurate hand-writing example on their application.

What should I do if I get a form?

  • Please read the guidance notes on the form carefully.
  • If you want to keep your postal (or proxy) vote, you must provide us with your current signature, which should be written in the box in the top right-hand part of your form. We also ask that you give us your date of birth, but this information is optional.
  • If you no longer wish to vote by post (or proxy), you should place a tick in the box on the left-hand side of the form and sign it immediately below, where indicated.
  • Please return your signed form in the pre-paid envelope provided or send us a PDF copy to elections@shropshire.gov.uk.
  • If you are no longer able to provide a signature due to illness or disability, you (or your helper) should write a brief explanation on the form as to why, and we will contact you separately by letter with further instructions.

If we have not received the form back by the closing date stated in the letter, we must by law, cancel your postal (or proxy) vote. We will write to you to tell you that your postal (or proxy vote) has been cancelled, after the deadline date for renewal applications has passed.